Sunday, December 18, 2016

Jaded: Chapter 12

Chapter 12

We've got 6 of the items and it's not even 4:30.

"I think we might win."

"I've heard the first part of the list is easy to get through. The next part takes longer." Finn replies, staring forward.

"Well, it's the fun of being together, right?"


I feel like I'm playing tug-of- war. I look at my calendar instead of talking to him.

"We're here." He says, turning off the car.

I get out of the car and look around.

"A walking trail?" I ask.

"Yeah, number 7. A walking trail with water and animal life. This one is a little far but it has a waterfall that animals love. Shall we?"

I nod and we start walking.

"Do you really want to win?" Finn asks, suddenly.

"No. I just feel like I have to put my all in. It is my first event as the Peyton ward after all."

"Yes. We can't forget you're the ward."

His tone is harsh and I don't reply.

I stumble on a fallen branch. Finn takes my hand and puts me slightly behind him.

How can he be so mean one second and so kind the next?

"Okay." He says as we stop at a cave. "Now we just have to wait."

I sit in the cave and he sits next to me.

We sit in silence while I look around the park. It's beautiful but familiar.

"Got it." Finn says, taking a picture on his phone.

I look back at the waterfall and see birds and frogs sitting there.

"Now we only have three things left."

I stare as he stands in front of the cave.

"Eliza? Are you okay?" His voice is full of concern.

"Of course, I'm not okay. Everywhere I go, I have deja vu. But it's really vague and I don't remember anything. I haven't learned anything about my childhood. I keep getting headaches. And my oldest friend isn't talking to me." I breathe out.

"Lindsay isn't talking to you?"

I put my hands on my temples.

"No. You."

"Sorry for being confused. You have so many titles for people."

"Well, you were my first friend. I met you before Jenn came back. I would look forward to seeing you each summer. I was so happy when you started at Alden for boys. Then, this year you avoided me and have been ignoring me. It's not fair."

"I was right there for you to find me."

"Please. Lindsay finally told me this morning. The girls ran into you all the time and you always said you were busy. But you asked my schedule so we wouldn't be in the same place."

"Fine. I avoided you becasue I realized we probably won't be in the same college, let alone state in a couple years."

"Were you going to avoid me this year too?"

"Yes." He says, looking down.

"And that's why you've been ignoring me the last few weeks. Why did you agree to be my bodyguard if you hate being around me so much?"

"I don't hate being around you. That's not why I've been ignoring you. I started to hope we'd go to the same college."

"So why are you nice one moment and standoffish the next?"

Finn glances at me and turns away.

"We got the picture. Let's go."

"No. We're talking about this. Ignoring it is tearing at our relationship. We need to know why so we can try to salvage it."

"You want to know everything?" He asks, turning back around.

I nod.

"Everyone's been sharing their opinion on us: the media, the girls, classmates out west. Arthur Simms is over here threatening me. My dad is warning me from the moment I wake up but won't tell me why. You're now the Peyton ward, which is huge. And I don't even know how you feel. I mean your best friend hates me."

"Lindsay doesn't hate you." He rolls his eyes. "She's scared of you."

"She's scared fo me? I should be scared of her turning you against me."

"It's not a one or the other thing. She's scared of how much you mean to me. She's scared of how I like you romantically. She's scared of how much you affect me."

My eyes widen as I realize what I said. I blush and look around the cave.

Finn leans forward a little.

"Did you just say what I think you said?" He asks, looking hopeful.

I can do this. I look back at him.

"I said I like you, a lot."

Finn kisses me. I freeze in surprise.

"I was starting to think you'd never say it." He says, pulling himself up.

He sits next to me and I continue to stare at him.

"Te amo, Eliza."

I love you. What? I love you!

"Eliza?" He asks, sitting back to look at me. "Are you okay with that?"

"I'm fine with it. It's great. I'm just really confused. I mean, it's wonderful but why all the issues then?"

"It felt like everyone had a say in our relationship. But you weren't saying anything so it felt like everyone was mocking my feelings. I shut down a lot to protect my feelings."

"I was saying things." I think about what Allison said. "Okay. Maybe not often or in a sensible manner. But I definitely made it know I wasn't happy with the situation."

"It seemed like you hated me being your bodyguard. I thought you couldn't wait to get back west and be seperate for the year. I thought you'd go to Northwestern and we'd never see each other again."

"No. I hated that you weren't being yourself. I was frustrated because it felt like my needs were ruining your life. I need you around. I need to talk to you."

Finn smiles and wraps an arm around me.

"Okay. Talk, rant, ask questions. Feel free to say anything on your mind."

"Arthur threatened you?"

"Anything but that."

"Come on. Tell me. When did he threaten you?" I ask, leaning back into him.

"Today at the scavenger hunt gathering. He told me to make sure you were safe. And he said that if I broke your heart, he would be the first to confront me." Finn laughs. "He said that his friendship with my family means nothing next to your happiness. He also implied that he could take me even though he's 20 years older than me."


"Yeah. So much for him keeping his opinion to himself."

"I didn't know I was that important to him. It's flattering and overwhelming."

Finn looks at me.

"You're that important to a lot of people. You wouldn't believe the amount of people, including my mother, who told me something along those lines recently. I'm the one who says it the most though."

I blush and Finn kisses my cheek. Which only makes me blush harder.

"Your dad won't tell you his problem either?"

"Nope. He said it has nothing to do with work. He likes you. But he doesn't approve. Wait, when did you talk to him?"

"At the benefit when I left you on the dance floor. Sorry about that, by the way."

"It's forgotten. What were you going to say before you left the ballroom?"

"I was going to say I imagined it would be like a fairytale. I wanted to dance the night away with you, talking about everything and anything."

"And I just wanted to stare at you. The next ball is the 27?" I nod. "We'll dance and talk all night."

"Thank you. We'll make your dad approve."

"I'm sure we can. He may seem a little rough around the edges but he just wants me to be happy."

And I make him happy? This is too much.

"What did you say about headaches?"

"Oh, I get headaches every once in a while." I say breezily.

"Why is this the first I'm hearing about this?" He pauses. "Never mind. How often and how long has it been going on?"

"At least two per week. It started the second week that we were here."

"And you have no idea where it's coming from?"

"I think they come around the same time as my deja vu. I don't know what causes it. Sometimes I feel like there's something locked in my mind. Like it's so close but I can't open the door."

"Why are you being so nonchalant about it?"

"It's just a headache."

"You never get headaches. You get migranes and lie about the severity. You're going to the doctor Monday."

"Okay. I will. Bossy."

"Caring about someone who puts themselves last leads to being firm."

I can't hide my smile.

"I'm glad that makes you happy. We'll start looking into your childhood after you've visited the doctor."

"Thank you."

My phone vibrates. I don't want to move but it could be important.

Allison: How's the scavenger hunt going?

"Oh, no."

"What's up?"

"It's 5:30."

"Oh, man. We still have to walk down and drive back. We're not going to finish the list before 6."

"It's fine. I got my prize." I say, leaning up and kissing him.

"And I mine." He says, lifting me out of the cave.

We walk in comfortable silence. I've missed this.

----- ----- -----

"You guys don't understand." Bianca says.

"Yes, please explain why it was necassary for you to prank Jo." Mikayla says.

"I shouldn't have to explain it. Jo is always doing something."

"But that's Jo." Max says.

"That's not fair."

"Lizzie, can you fix this?" Mikayla asks.

"Jo will be graduating in two months. Just put up ---"

"Mistress?" Lindsay asks as everyone stares at me.


"Eliza, you were talking." Finn says, stepping closer.

"No, Bianca was explaining why she pranked Jo."

"Yes, two minutes ago. You were telling her to put up with it."

I narrow my eyes at him.

"If you say so. Are we visiting Jenn or not?" I ask, turning around.

I stumble and Finn grabs my forearm.

"They are. Lindsay, I'm going to take her to the doctor."

"Okay, thank you." Lindsay takes my hand. "We'll tell Jennifer you said hello."

"I'll stay with her until you guys come back. Max, please drive them home."

"Of course. Feel better Lizzie."

"Bye, Lizzie."

I stare out the window and sigh.

"When are we going to see Jenn?"

Finn pulls over.

"What do you remember, Eliza?"

"I remember grounding Bianca for pranking Jo. I remember getting in the car. And I remember Max telling me to feel better. Which is ridiculous because I feel fine. By the way, did the girls drive with him?" I say, looking in the backseat.

"Most of that happened 15 minutes ago. Do you remember getting back in the car?"

"No." I say wincing.

"Eliza what's wrong?"

"It's just a headache."

"Sit back and close your eyes. We're not talking anymore."

Spoil- sport.

I open my eyes. I'm in a white room. The doctor's office?

"Hello, Ms. Gent." Dr. Lillian says, from her chair.

"Hello. How did I get here?" I ask, sitting up.

"Your friend Finn carried you into my office."

"What? But I'm fine."

"Your friends are very concerned about you. Lindsay has already called twice. I told her I had to wait for you to wake up to examine you. Let's just do a brief check up."


She starts my check up.

"You have a slight temperature. Do you know that?"

"No. We check our temperatures every night. I didn't have one yesterday."

Dr. Lillian laughs.

"You're extra cautious, Eliza."

I shrug.

"Well, do you feel sick at all?"

"No. I'm fine."

"Let's go my office to chat."

"I just have a headache." I say, following her out the room.

"On a scale of one to ten how much pain are you in?"

"A seven." I say sliding into the chair.

"That sounds more like a migraine to me."

There's an knock on the door.

Dr. Lillian opens the door slightly.

"Lindsay called. She was wondering how Lizzie was doing."

"He can join us since they need to know so badly."

"I need more than a snarky approval."

"I would like Finn Campbell to join us." I reiterate.

"I meant a signature but have a seat, Finn." Dr. Lillian says, handing me a paper.

I scan it and sign it.

"So have you ever had a migraine before?"

"No." I respond.

"What about 8th grade year when you missed debate team because you couldn't open your eyes from pain?" Finn asks. "And last year when you threw up after the dance?"

"Thanks for those memories. Dr. Lillian, I guess I have had migraines."

"Do you get them often?"

"Not really. Like 10 a year. I've only missed school a couple times and I haven't thrown up since 9th grade."

"What about what happened today? Have you ever fallen asleep?"

"That's because Finn had me close my eyes. I don't fall asleep."

"She didn't know what was going on. She lost about 20 minutes. She paused and forgot she was talking." Finn says.

"Tattletale." I mutter.

"Lizzie, you have to be honest with me. I'm your doctor and I didn't know anything about your migraines. It's a good thing you have friends who care so much about you."

"I'll try to be better at talking to you." I promise.

"Thank you. Now do you think it has anything to do with your past?" She asks, glancing at Finn.

"Finn knows that I don't remember my childhood. I don't know. I just have seasonal headaches." I look at Finn. "Alright, migraines. But I don't think they have a connection."

"You said seasonal. Have you noticed a pattern?"

'I usually get one around the time my mom died and when I went to care. I know the others are grouped together but I don't know how so."

"Ok.This is going to take a while but for the next year I want you to list the dates you get migraines. Can you do that?"

I nod and wince.

"Yes, I can."

"Is there anything she can do now to relieve the pain?" Finn asks.

"You can rest in the nurse's office. Fresh air, medicine and water may help. Just keep to the shade because it is bright outside."

"Okay. Thank you."

"You're very welcome, Lizzie. I hope you feel better."

Finn offers his arm and I take it.

"What do you want to do?" He asks.

"Can we go to our park?" I ask.

"Of course."

We drive to the park we discovered. There's only a few people. Finn spreads a blanket under a tree. I lay down and he reads to me.

----- ----- -----

Finn takes my hand.

"I'm sure you're fine, Eliza. You haven't been ill or anything. I just want a doctor to know."

"I know. It's just Dr. Lillian said flying would be okay. I'm still writing down the dates but I've been getting way more migraines lately."

"You know, you don't have to do all the responsibilities as the Peyton ward. You can still cancel it."

"Oh, no. I'm the ward. You don't like attention. What are we going to do?" I say, frantically.

"Eliza, I'll be alright. We don't have to share our lives with the public. And if they find out, I'll be alright."

He kisses my hand and we pull into the driveway.

The valet opens the door and I pull my hand away.

Finn looks at me confused.

"You said if they find out. That means we have to be a little subtle. That means we can't walk around holding hands."

Finn nods and steps closer.

"Thank you. He whispers.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Purple's PTSD Confusion

It's been a difficult 4 weeks, in an already intensely heartwrenching 8 months. I'm not sure how I've survived. Probably kdramas and music.

I have acute PTSD at the moment. It's not the first episode I've had but I was a kid for the first long-term case. Now my PTSD  - 1996, ep2 - 2004 is still in affect and combining with PTSD 2016. I feel like there should be a limit to how many traumas you process at once.

Anyway, PTSD is bad enough. But since I already have panic disorder and suicidal ideation, there are times my PTSD induce a panic attack or trigger suicidal thoughts.

And now that it is officially November my Seasonal Affective Disorder is kicking in. I managed school with my birth month depression (September) and summer depression faded as the month went on and ignored the PTAD. October gave a bit of a break and I thought I could make it through the month without prolonged downs.

But my solution to PTSD and family tension was moving states in the coming months. Starting over new somewhere that I haven't got 20 years of traumatic memories and the key thing being away from the family which is currently causing my trauma. I was supposed to be somewhere new to explore life as Purple Owl.

It was hard to decide to move. To leave everything and everyone I've known my entire life. But my family needed a change and I decided I'd be the sacrifice. Plus I have relatives and friends out there. I've stayed for 3 months before. I could stay for a few years until I'm my own person.

Deciding to move was hard. Deciding when to move was even more difficult. I knew back in April that moving was a possibility. I wasn't done with the education I wanted. So I signed up for my last set of classes. When school began in August, I know I'd be leaving after the semester ended.
Do I work primary school's winter break, 3 weeks, and watch a fun child that I've know since before he was born? - Yes. I want to.
Do I leave in January?
Do I take time off for the month of January and stay home to take care of things?
- Meet with my psych to set 3 month medication delivery and a system to keep him, perhaps through phone sessions.
- Meet with my therapist and discuss the fine tuned details of moving.
- Follow up with the sleep study results.
- Follow up with my neurologists about migraine medication.
- Fully pursue a late autism spectrum assessment.
- Fully pursue an eating disorder assessment.
- Complete my driving lessons and get the license, the fear my PTSD has eclipsed but is still waiting.
- Complete the process to get a cheap car with my family's assistance *yay for owing people things*
- I ought to go back to my orthopedist. And tell him that I gave up on PT because it was fitting in my schedule but still do the exercises occasionally. See how bad the injury is now and what I should do next.
- I ought to keep my dentist appointment for February (darn 6 month ahead cleaning planning)
So I guess not January or the first week of February.

킅. Fin. The End. Right?


I'd wrapped my head around the changes. I was looking forward to being with people I've only had Instagram connection for 3 years. I could picture myself meeting a friend's husband, getting to know the area, being in those IG post instead of just seeing friends. I'm discovering what my certificates would mean in a new state, if I can get permits and licensing. I was even a little excited to go back to school for any requirements I was lacking. I knew my nephew would be losing his 2nd caregiver and safety but he would adapt.

But out of nowhere.....
I was told by a very beloved family that they would be deeply affected. And they'd love to care for me if I'm willing.

Like, whoa. What am I supposed to do with this information? How am I suppose to react to mattering this much?

No one has actually <b>wanted<b/> me before, not like this. The only thing that comes close is my relative offering her care so my family ties don't rip apart. The next closest is my mom making time for me, her 5th and only unplanned child, while she was dying for 4 years. But even all that was shaded by PTSD 1 & 2. It wasn't "my life would suck without you". It was "I'll try to give you a shot at life." Necessary for me but now I'm told I am necessary to others? 😢

Came close to crying during the conversation but I held it in. And played games for a few hours. But when I got home it fully dawned on me what had happened. What had been offered - an option rather than a sentencing.

I don't have to leave my under 12 months nephew. I don't have to pop in all the time, over satellite or in person, to ensure that I'm not forgotten. I could live outside of the house from him without living outside of the state.
I wouldn't have to pack for airplane, train, shipping travel. It hadn't been decided yet.

I could finish growing up where I started, where I always imagined I would. But....

The cause is still present. I'd risk being triggered every time I opened my front door. That made me sob uncontrollably. And when my siblibg/roommate asked why that was so bad, I said "<b>the thought of</b> running into a person, especially family, should bring on shaking, trouble breathing, trouble focusing, crying". And that was just the thought of it.

So they said "it sounds like the decision is made. Moving so you don't have that fear." Then came all the regret, anger, and resentment that I was the one who had to change my life.

It didn't put me any close to deciding. I forced myself to attend the classes I could the next two days and had therapy. Which just added to the noise in my head.

Completely wiped by 11/9, I slept on and off. I was too depressed to focus on anything for more than a few minutes. Ditched school, didn't eat, didn't take my meds, barely moved unless I had my nephew. My sibling told me to eat and I had a small snack. Once everyone went to bed though, it hit me. I was so dizzy even lounging that getting up the next day, still fasting, would be extremely difficult. So at 2 am I forced some rice porridge down my throat.

I'm still checking my weight. I'm still in a safe zone. I'm not in danger of being underweight and malnourished as before.

However if I think about all this too long, my ARFID relapses. Food is disgusting, undesired, a waste of time and energy. I can sit at home all day and forget to eat, no matter how many times I enter the kitchen.

I'm afraid of my PTSD. Things were starting to be manageable but now the cause of PTSD is encircling me and leaving all my disorders to fend for themselves. And they can't be trusted. I'm considering about eating rehabilitation so I'm not thinking about the decision, the cause or my disorders being free. A time to learn how to eat again, in peace.

Is it good to plan a rehabilitation visit? Is it stealing someone's spot or postponing the help you need because of timing?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Content - Personal Growth

I am not ashamed of who I am.

I'm so surprised and proud that I can actually write that sentence. It's been my ultimate goal since I was tiny. With my first memory is an underlying sense that I was a waste of space. That I was absorbing supplies that others could put to better use: air, food, water, clothing, etc.

I didn't deserve it. I didn't deserve to have emotions. I didn't deserve to do things that interested me. I didn't deserve to do things my way.

I didn't deserve anything.

I always knew those thoughts was sad, wrong, negative, and should be ignored. But knowing is very different from being able to truly accept it. I don't know how someone under 2 years old begins to think that way.

And now that I'm learning about how children develop and the psychology that is supposed to go on, I've been feeling even more odd and pathetic. Why couldn't someone work with me on self-esteem in the middle years? Why wasn't I egocentric as a preschooler? People can say that it's nice to have such a toddler. People can say that I was wise beyond my years. That I had an old soul. That I was considerate. That I was selfless.

But selflessness is bad. It's a characteristic we hope that older children, teens and adults will develop. It's a good goal to have for oneself. However under the age of 6-8, selflessness is often a sign of lack of self value. I wasn't trying to put others first. I couldn't put myself first. Thinking of myself at all seemed like the worst sin possible. Worse than murder.

Not giving yourself two seconds thought,  makes self control and understanding emotions impossible. I felt all these negative things and could only act out on it in private. I put on a positive face so as to not bring attention to myself. I wasn't worth it. I wasn't handling life correctly. Who I was couldn't be shared or people would really come to hate me.

I am happy to be who I am.

I am considerate. Not because I am selfless.
I have a selfish streak but I like caring for others.
I love people very much. Not by taking love away from myself.
I cook because even though I rarely want to eat, I can acknowledge the importance. And I am worth the cost and effort.
I buy clothes because I deserve to live life confident and comfortable.
I force myself to drink water because to ignore physical needs puts you in the hospital and I deserve to be out, living my life.
I speak up because my opinion matters. Even if people disagree with me, that doesn't mean they see me as less. Just because I disagree doesn't mean I don't respect them I have a voice and I was given one for a reason.

I matter.

From 1995-2015, I never fully believed that. Sometimes I came close. I've never completely lost that slight hope or else I wouldn't have made it this far.

But for the first time in my life, I mean it. I. 2016, I've climbed higher than ever before. I'm not just putting on a brave face to mask it all.

As a mental health advocate and caregiver, I have a new appreciate for self value and the phrase "It gets better."

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Unapologetically Me

So it's my birth date once again - I'm 21.

I've been alive for over two decades.

I've experienced so much.

I've been had sadness as my standard state for so long.

My 21st year was difficult. It was the scariest year I've ever been through. I didn't know where I stood with anyone. I thought I'd fallen apart too much. That 2 decades of guilt would become too much.

And the last few weeks have been especially hard. In waiting for my least favorite days, I truly hated September this time. I kinda regretted letting it happen.

Not anymore. I've spent a few hours looking back on the year and I'm proud of myself. I am almost done with school. I scheduled a driving appointment. I regularly attend my various medical/mental appointments. I don't hide out in my room the amount that comes naturally. I force myself out and to grow. I was myself, unapologetically.

I've adopted parents from media. I've made friends from times past. I've found even more things that matter to me, more that interest me, more to do in the future. I'm sure that I'll be here for many more September 28th. I doubt I'll treat them as I did as a child and adolescent. I no longer desire missing the month of September. 

Wow, I'm not an adolescent anymore. I am at the age that universally, physically, scientifically, philosophically can't be denied as adulthood. I'm leaving one club behind and am going the older, responsible group. While I hope never to have children of my own, I hope as a member of the second group I can guide the young club.

I look forward to my 22nd year. And all the changes that shall so be coming with them. Being in charge of myself is much different than raising yourself with no plan or advice. I'll keep you in the loop. I'll share the progresses that allow the woman I've always wanted to be, to have space and feel free to challenge me. Purple Owl will be changing shades throughout the year. But always a type of Purple for confidence and lock on identity.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Autism In Love

Disclaimer: this movie included some language and phrases I didn't appreciate. But it was just too moving not to share. Also, spoilers!

I didn't know what I was going to get with this documentary. I came away from it caring for all the subjects. I even felt like three were my close friends while a fourth was myself.

The Subjects:
Lenny (Leonard) - raised by a single mother, currently lives with mother & stepfather.
Dave - parents were not in the video. He has a scientific geared mind.
Lindsey - father was interviewed. She leans toward creativity.
Stephen - oldest of the group. He lives independent of his parents.

Lenny graduated high school a while back and does not have a job. He spends time playing video games, at diners, at the park, and talking to friends.

Dave & Lindsey met at an Autism convention in 2005. They were at 8 years dating when the documentary began. I'm not sure if they live together since Dave mentioned "she tucks me in at night." (That could go either way.) Dave works in physics. I'm not sure about Lindsey but office friendliness seems valued. Her coworker/employer was pleasantly surprised by her social adaptation level.

Stephen works the U.S. Postal Service. He does some kind of systematic work, which sounds relaxing. It seems like he is more interested in the work than the social aspect.

Love Life:
Lenny is single. He has one ex-girlfriend. But she wanted to make things more physical than he was comfortable with. Lenny also has a range of beliefs about romantic relationships that I don't necessarily agree with.
1) A man must have a job - I see the value but it's not a rule breaker to me at the beginning of dating. Courtship though is another matter. And if he loses the job, do they break up?
2) A man must make more money - honestly I'd love for the money to be pouring in and me to never have to move an inch. But I also believe in moderation and not working just for the money. If the man is stressed just to make a dollar more, is it worth it?
3) Women shouldn't pay for anything - while I appreciate the principle there and the natural, inborn desire men have to take care of their own, I don't agree wholeheartedly. Men should be able to pay for most. But to me a grown, adult woman should be able to pay for most, too. My general rule when someone else is paying for me, "if I couldn't afford it, I can't get it." However, the beauty about relationships, romantic or otherwise, is complementing each other. If both want to go out but won't pay the same amount, should the decision be affected by which gender they are?
4) Overall, a deep seated belief of inequality - men crave respect & women crave love. We aren't exactly the same. Those aren't the only things we need though. Men need love & women need respect, just not as intensely on the norm.

At 8 years dating, friends wonder why Dave & Lindsey aren't married yet. I personally don't think it's that long to date for a couple who both have a diagnosis that involves difficulty in developing relationship and communicating. They are so adorable.

Dave gives a beautiful math or science (as if I fully understand it academically) formula for love. L + P + 2T = % of love. L is for looks and physical attraction. But love has to last past those 3 years of lust so next is P for personality. The most important is how they treat you, so 2T. A person who rates high on based on their treatment of you has a better chance than based off of looks and personality alone. This is how Dave knows he is in love with Lindsey. Especially because the feelings have lasted 8 years.

Lindsey says despite not fully understanding each other, they make room for their routines and rigidity. They have been through a lot and their love is proven by remaining together. Lindsey faces love more emotionally than Dave. She knows she's in love with him because she wants to go at a pace comfortable for him even if it's not best for her. Lindsey feels that valuing the other person is love.

Stephen got married in the early 1990s. He lived with his wife, Edith, for 17 years until she was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2010. She had surgery and has been in a different town recovering since. She has medical ups and downs. Stephen isn't very verbal so I couldn't gather how much he knew about his wife's condition. His mother said he hopes for the best and believes Edith won't die. He remembered all the dates, even what he said when they met. Stephen said he knows he loves her because he cares for her. He wants to kiss, hug her and wished her the best. Awwwww!

Other struggles in the film:
Lenny was obviously suffering from depression. He felt less important than his peers who are in college or have graduated from there and moved on to jobs. He was unhappy with his diagnosis and its affect on his life. Lenny's self esteem very low. As a result of this, at one point he went to a mental hospital due to concerns that he would harm himself.

Lindsey was trying her hardest to be content with what Dave was able to give her. However, she didn't feel assured of his love. They had discussed marriage a few years prior. She pretty much promised her acceptance whenever he was ready to propose. But Dave hadn't been ready before and during the documentary. It increasingly became a topic. Up to the point, that he went ring shopping.

Edith died in 2013. Stephen was asked if he was still in love with her. He said "no. When a person dies, you can't hug or kiss them anymore. So I'm not in love with her." I translated that as the romantic love has ended but he still loves her and treasures the memories. I don't know if that's correct or arrogant of me to assume, but I just don't think he could verbally express it. That doesn't mean he couldn't feel it though, which was the position the concept of the documentary took.

Lenny has a job at a grocery store. He seemed much more content with his life. I wish we got a closing interview with his mother.

Dave proposed to Lindsey! In a way that was perfectly them! She's teaching him piano and I couldn't have fangirled more.

Stephen is back at work after a few months. His parents said it was good for him to be back to a routine. While he was affected greatly by his wife's death, his ability to talk about her was encouraging. I don't know how long had passed when the interviewer asked. And I don't know if his way of communicating made it seem like he was coping better than he was.

My reaction to the subjects:
I hope Lenny continues to grow in self-esteem. Like his mother said, he's awesome. He just needs to realize it. I hope he learns that relationships, romantic or not, don't have to follow a rule book. That it's okay to write your own story.

Lindsey felt like a future me. She knows that she is struggling. But she faces it head on, bravely. And when she mentioned necklaces make her feel protected, like she has a barrier between her and the world, I realized that's how I feel about accessories, hair, and makeup. I'll give people something to talk about as long as it's superficial and not something that I'm self-conscious about.

Dave was amazing. I don't get science and math, probably because I tell myself that. But I could almost always understand him. I appreciated how blunt he is. I know that's a characteristic of the diagnosis but it felt like it was more of a characteristic of his, regardless of ASD. Excepting Lindsey, I feel like everyone always knows where they stand with him.

Stephen is how I wish I could be. He spoke when people are "supposed to". He can hold a conversation. He can convey his feelings partially and those who love him fill in the rest. I'm sure he has had difficulties in his life especially in the "olden days of heightened prejudice" and while dating. But as much as we can say that being unable to share your thoughts and feelings is a bad thing, there's a slight plus. No matter how much people push, they're only going to get so much out of you. With a person on the Autism Spectrum, any more gained is an indescribable joy. But as someone who can't stop talking, even when my thoughts and feelings really don't need to be shared, I'm slightly envious. The grass is always greener on the other side.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Mental Health in Media

Our first media series will be analyzing how mental health is represented to the mass public.

I'm using "Mental Health in Film". There is a list on Wikipedia. I will watch the movies and discuss the accuracy, glamouization, romanticization or ignorance each film protrays.

Disclaimer: My professional diagnoses at the moment: Bipolar II (a less severe form of Bipolar I) Chronic Depression, Suicidal, Social Anxiety, Insomnia, Anxiety and Panic Disorder.
My personal suspicions: PTSD, leaning towards a range of Personality Disorders, Food Discomfort, Depersonalization Disorder, ADHD, leaning toward the Autism Spectrum, Phobias, Selective Mutism.

If you want more information on my disorders and my opinion on them, there are numerous post about just that. In particular:
Unique-ly in the Way - all disorders
Hypomania & HSP - Bipolar II & Anxiety
ARFID - Food Discomfort
Suicidal Ideation - Suicidal
Fighting Through - Social Anxiety
Throw Back Thursday - Selective Mutism
Sleep - Insomnia
Painful Memory, Useful Memory - Panic Disorder
Kristy, Are You Doing Okay? - PTSD
Paradoxical - a few disorders mentioned

I will only discuss things with content that suits my taste. I may leave out an important example because I'm not comfortable with it. After movies, I'll decide between TV and books.

P.S. Sorry I got it in a few minutes late.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

S.I. Confessions Part 4

How do I go from high up to falling down?

Why can't I speak when people are around?

When will I be able to see more than me?

Who do I even want to be?

Where will I find my safe place?

What can I do to enjoy taking up space?

Monday, August 15, 2016

Everybody's always talking at me
Everybody's tryin' to get in my head
I wanna listen to my own heart talking
I need to count on myself instead

(Did you ever?) Lose yourself to get what you want
(Did you ever?) Get on a ride and wanna get off
(Did you ever?) Push away the ones you should have held close
Did you ever let go? Did you ever not know?

I'm not gonna stop
That's who I am
I'll give it all I got
That is my plan
Will learn from what I lost
You know you can
Bet on it, bet on it, bet on it, bet on it
I'm wonna make it right
That is the way
To turn my life around
Today is the day
Am I the type of guy who means what I say?
Bet on it, Bet on it, bet on it, bet on it

How will I know if there is a path worth taking?
Should I question every move I make?
Thought I've lost my heart, it's breaking
I don't wanna make the same mistake

(Did you ever?) Doubt your dream will ever come true
(Did you ever?) Blame the world but never blame you
(I will never) Try to live a lie again
I don't wanna win this game, if I can't play it my way

I'm not gonna stop
That's who I am
I'll give it all I got
That is my plan
Will learn from what I lost
You know you can
Bet on it, bet on it, bet on it, bet on it
I'm wonna make it right
That is the way
To turn my life around
Today is the day
Am I the type of guy who means what I say?
Bet on it, bet on it, bet on it, bet on it

It's no good at all
To see yourself
And not recognize your face
Out on my own
It's such a scary place, oooh!
The answers are all inside of me
All I gotta do is believe

I'm not gonna stop, not gonna stop 'til I get my shot
That's who I am, that is my plan
Will I end up on top?
You can, bet on it, bet on it, bet on it, bet all you can
Bet on it, bet on it, bet on it, bet on me

I'm wonna make it right
That is the way
To turn my life around
Today is the day
Am I the type of guy who means what I say?
Bet on it, bet on it, bet on it, bet on it
(You can bet on me!)

Scream Lyrics

The day the door is closed
The echoes fill your soul
They won't say which way to go
Just trust your heart
To find what you're here for
Open another door
But I'm not sure anymore

It's just so hard
Voices in my head
Tell me they know best
Got me on the edge
They're pushin', pushin', they're pushin'

I know they've got a plan
But the ball's in my hands
This time is man-to-man
I'm drivin', fightin', inside of
(A world that's upside down)

It's spinning faster
What do I do now
Without you?
I don't know where to go
What's the right team
I want my own thing
So bad I'm gonna scream
I can't chose, so confused

What's it all mean
I want my own dream
So bad I'm gonna scream
I'm kicking down the walls
I gotta make them fall
Just break through them all

I'm punchin', crushin', I'm gonna
Fight to find myself
Me, and no one else
Which way, I can't tell
I'm searchin', searchin', can't find a
(Way that I should turn)
I should, to right or left, it

It's like nothing works
Without you
I don't know where to go
What's the right team
I want my own thing
So bad I'm gonna scream
I can't chose, so confused

What's it all mean
I want my own dream
So bad I'm gonna scream
Yeah, the clock's running down,
Hear the crowd getting loud
I'm consumed by the sound
Is it her?
Is it love?
Can the music ever be enough?
Gotta work it out!
Gotta work it out!
You can do it!
You can do it!

I don't know where to go
What's the right team
I want my own thing
So bad I'm gonna scream
I can't chose, so confused

What's it all mean
I want my own dream
So bad I'm gonna scream
I don't know where to go
What's the right team

I want my own thing
I want my own thing
I can't chose, so confused
What's it all mean
I want my own dream
So bad I'm gonna scream

Jaded: Chapter 11

Chapter 11

"Hello, Elizabeth Gent. My name is Sarah Jackson." The young woman says, sitting on the couch.

"I know who you are. I've been watching you and reading your articles since I was 5." I say, excitedly and wince.

Sarah laughs.

"Thank you. It's nice to know I had such a young and dedicated fan. What made you watch the news at such a young age?"

"My mom insisted I know what was going on in the world. I love your broadcasting company and their honesty. What made you move to human interest pieces?"

"I've always been interested in getting to know the people I report about. I find that causes get a more personal touch that way."

"Cool." I say. "Would you like anything to drink?"

"Water, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, juice, milk?" Allison asks to my right.

I look at her.

"I guess Allison predicted I'd be asking."

"No. I've been watching from upstairs." She says, without shame. "Ms. Jackson, I'm a huge fan."

"This is my friend, Allison. She works for the Simms." I introduce.

Ms. Jackson smiles.

"Nice to meet you, Allison. I feel so flattered today."

"What can I get you, Ms. Jackson?"

"I'll take tea." Sarah says. "And you can call me Sarah."

Allison nods quickly and I snicker.

"Orange juice, Liz?" She asks, glaring at me.

"Yes, please." I smile back.

She leaves the room.

"So Elizabeth, my interview style is a bit different as you probably know. I'll ask questions but it's fine if you move from topic to topic. Just know some things may move out of context when I edit."

"That's fine. I do have a request though. Could you start off by saying that I prefer not to be called Elizabeth?"

She gets out her recorder.

"What do you prefer to be called? Liz?" She asks.

"I usually go by Lizzie but I've been called every nickname including Betty." I laugh.

"You don't agree with Betty?"

"I don't mind any of them. I just don't feel much like a Betty. It seems like a bubbly name."

"You don't consider yourself bubbly?

"No. I'm cheerful but I'm not bubbly. Not that there's anything wrong with being bubbly. It's just not a part of my personality."

"I can appreciate that. Your comments are very diplomatic. Is that because you're aware of your role model status? Or is it affected by having prepared your answers?"

"Neither. I was surprised when the Companion called me a role model. I'm honored that people view me as a good person to imitate. However, I refuse to be fake for the status."

"So what makes you so diplomatic?"

"I'm not sure. I was always the mediator in my friend groups. I have a mellow viewpoint, I suppose."

Allison puts our drinks down.

"You're a valuable addition to our friend group." She says.

"Thanks, Allie."

"Son." She adds.

"And now it sounds weird." I say.

"Sorry. I'm interrupting. Call me if you need anything."

"Will do."

"You two seem like great friends."

"Yeah. She's one of my best friends."

"You didn't know each other before you came, right? That's quick."

"I don't think it's that fast. We just happen to carry the same song."

She looks at me in surprise.

"Are you saying that based on the poem, The Arrow and the Song?"

"Yes, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He's one of my favorite poets."

"I am definitely talking to the 6th smartest young lady in the country."

I blush.

"I'm not the 6th smartest girl in the country. The tests to find that statistic only emphazise a select amount of information. That fact is, my cumulative score is impressive but there are plenty of young women who test better in individual subjects. We all have our different advantages. Mine happens to be that I have a good memory and a lot of time to learn."

"I can't argue with that. How long are you staying with the Simms?"

"I'm not sure. The original plan was for 10 weeks. Circumstances may change but if I have responsibilities to handle, I may be back often."

"That raises a couple questions. What are you going to do when you leave the girls at this academy?"

"I will strive to keep in contact with them. I may not always answer or reply right away. But I hope to write and call people all the time. I've actually reconnected with a few people lately."

"Who would these people be?"

"One of my foster sisters wrote the Peyton empire a letter. It was good to hear from her after all these years. Another one was my fourth grade teacher. She helped me through one of the hardest times in my life."

"What was that?"

I forgot that I was being interviewed.

"That would be my mother's death. I was more shy then."

"It's hard to imagine that. You carry yourself with such confidence. Of course, that brings up another question. You don't have to answer."

"It's okay. I previewed it. And I'm used to the question."

She smiles at me, sadly.

"What happened to your parents?"

"My father died in a sailing accident when I was 3. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 4. She fought for four years and died when I was 8."

"You were so young." She says, emotional.

"I was. But I still have memories of my parents. And that's a blessing I am grateful for."

"That's beautiful."

"Thank you." I say, slightly uncomfortable.

"I had a couple more questions. I know you have to get ready for the pairs and groups scavenger hunt."

"I do. But I have plenty of time to get ready."

"I was wondering what responsibilities you have as the Peyton ward."

"Well, I will be getting a scholarship so I have to finish my high school experience at the academic standard I've previously set. I am the teen representative so I must be respectable. I am now in charge of the teen section of events held by the Peyton empire."

Sarah pauses her recorder.

"Off record, but Delilah was getting overwhelmed."

I believe that. But I don't think it needs to be spoken.

"In time, I'll be attending any events that the Simms cannot attend."

She records again.

"There's four of them. Will there ever be a day not even one can be in attendance?"

"It's not likely. But I'll be on standby just in case."

"Well, they couldn't have possibly given it to a more responsible young woman."

"Thank you."

"The last question is a more personal one."

More personal than my parents? Even though I know the gist of what she's about to ask, I don't know how you get more personal than that.

"Sources say you danced several times with a young man the night of the Peyton anniversary benefit."

"That's correct."

"No one seems to know who this young man is, however. Will he be on your team this evening?"


"Are you playing pairs or groups?"


"Do you have a relationship with this young man?"

"He's a close friend. Friendship is a relationship as well."

"That's true." She says, smiling. "Is the Peyton ward allowed to have a romantic relationship?"

"Yes. I am, as the Peyton ward, allowed to have a relationship. At the moment, I am not in a relationship. I don't feel obligated to announce when I start one. But I will strive to live up to my role model status in that area of my life, too."

'I think you'll be a great role model. I look forward to seeing what you do with your position."

"Thank you." I say.

She turns off her recorder.

"Sorry for some of those questions. The public wants to know." She says, standing.

"It's fine. I knew they were coming. And I trust you to provide a good first impression."

"Thank you. Well, Lizzie it was nice to meet you."

"It was nice to meet you as well." I say as Allison comes into the room.

"Lizzie, it's almost time to go. Sarah, I'll walk you out."

I hear them talking as I go up stairs.

I go to my room and check my makeup. I grab my satchel. I head out of my room.


I turn around and see Finn in the family room.

"How long have you been here?"

"A while. You walked by me earlier. Please be a bit more aware of your surroundings."

"Fine. Are you ready to go?"

"One second. Can you hold up your hair?"

I do so. Then, I feel something cold on my neck. I touch something square and look down.

"A bookcase necklace?!" I ask excited.

"Yup. Now I'm ready."

I follow him downstairs and out of the house. We get in the car and he turns on music.

"Finn, why did you buy me a necklace to match your pocket watch?" I ask, curious.

"We have to match for our team. I told you we were set."

"You told me to wear my notebook print shirt and bring my typewriter satchel. I thought having a theme was enough."

"It is. I had already ordered the necklace, though. That shirt is cool."

"You bought me my satchel and now a necklace."

"I gave you the satchel two years ago. I knew you'd like the necklace. That's all that is important."

"Well thank you. I'm not good with people buying me gifts. It's a good thing I like you so much."

The car stops and my door opens.

"Ms. Gent." A valet says.

"Hello. Which way is the gathering?"

"It's on the putting green to the left." He gestures.

I try to get my blush to go away. I can't believe I said that.

Finn clears his throat. Awkward.

"So Jenn went with Chloe and Lynn?" he asks.

"No." He stares at me. "She went with Lynn and George. We didn't leave her at the house."

"You enjoy making people panic."

"No, I don't. I just thought this was a bad time to ask."

"It takes a little more than 5 minutes to get here. I could have gone back for her."

"You forgot and that's that."

"Whatever." Finn says, smiling. "Let's join the party."

"Let's." I say as we step onto the grass.

Chloe runs up.

"Save me."

I laugh.

"What happened to you being so excited about your team?" I ask.

"It's never been so quiet in my car. Miranda is in the front seat and won't even look at Cameron. I don't understand why they agreed to be on the same team."

"Because everyone wanted them to be on the same team." Finn says. "This is their first year playing. Do you know how many couples have come from this game?"

"I know. My cousin married her teammate from her freshman year in college. I just can't believe his parents agreed. And I wish they hadn't."

"Do you have to be on their team?" I ask.

"Yeah. They need a driver. Plus, there's no duos I can pawn Cameron off to." She says, glancing at Finn.

"The teams have already been approved." He says.

"I know."

"Arthur is beckoning me." He says, nodding at me.

I nod back.

"He's not a very good guard walking away from you." Chloe says.

"I'm just glad to have a little breathing room. And he's literally 8 feet away."

"I'm glad my dad isn't influential enough for us to need guards."

I finger my necklace.

"Is Finn okay?"

"I think so."

"He glared at me when you asked if I need to be on the kids team."

"Oh. I wondered why you responded like that. Maybe he didn't want to share the winnings." I guess.

"He doesn't care about a paid dinner. And I would have given it to you two. No, I think he didn't want anyone disturbing you."

"That's …" I don't finish that thought.

"See? I'm right."

"Hi, Lizzie." Lynn says.

I look at her, George, and Jenn.

"Wow. That is a lot of flannel." I say, blinking.

"It's a good thing it's cold enough for it. I hope the girls won't get too hot." George says.

"No, I think it's perfect. I think hot chocolate should be on the list." Jenn comments.

"We could put it on our own list."

Lynn stares at them.

"This is why we're not going to win. These two will veer off course."

"Hi, Lizzie. Hi, Finn." Cameron says.

I look to my side. I didn't know Finn had come back.

"More aware." He whispers and I nod.

"Hi, I'm Lizzie Gent." I say to the teenage girl.

"Nice to meet you. Miranda Beaufont." She says, quietly.

"So Lizzie how are you two matching?" Cameron asks.

"They did it subtly. She's a writer and he has a bookcase watch. Producer meets audience." Jenn says, sounding disappointed.

"Wait, isn't her necklace a bookcase?" Lynn says.

"Can I answer now? We both have bookcase accesories." I say.

'That's cool." George says.

"That's new." Jenn says, looking at me.

"Alright teams, line up." Mrs. Jergens says.

"Finn?" Jenn whispers.

"Yeah. He surprised me with it." I whisper back.

We separate and line up in front of the stage.

"Ok. The rules are simple. You must transport the item. If it belongs to someone ask permission to borrow it. In order to return it, you must list where you got it from. If you run into another team, go in a different direction to avoid losing. The game ends here at 6. The valets have put the lists in your cars."

"Delilah and Caleb are on the same team." I observe.

"Is that strange?" Finn asks.

"They just seem to frustrate each other. I don't see them interact often."

"They work well together."

"Arthur and Belle seem like stiff competition."

"They are. They've won 6 times."

"It seems like they shouldn't be allowed to participate anymore."

"They turn their dinner into a dinner party. So people don't mind."

We find the car and get in.

"Let's beat them." Finn says.


Friday, August 12, 2016


I'm sorry I haven't done a media post. I couldn't decide the form of media. But now I know.

Disney Channel Original Movies:

DCOMs are hit or miss. They tell basic stories that the audience either identifies with or not. The main characters are usually stereotypes and people react to then in extremes. The MC is loved or loathed. Most DCOMs are girl centric, much like the shows on Disney Channel. I feel that Disney does a better job with their movie MCs than the show. That is probably because the audience doesn't spend hours dissecting the character. Movies also have a tighter plot and execution.

My list of DCOMs:

Thursday, August 11, 2016


Throw Back Thursday

Mom Era: 0 - 8 years old

This was a stressful era. Mom was sick. I was sick.

But the leader of the era was always around. She explained things to me. Things most people wouldn't think to explain to a child. Things most people would think was beyond a child. Things most people would think damaging for a child.

I couldnt tell her my secrets. I didn't want to upset her with my worries. Somehow, she seemed to know them anyway.

Mom held my hand as I had my MRI.

Aunt Era: 8 - 13 years old

This was a quiet era. It built underground and erupted suddenly towards the end.

The leader wasn't always available. She was tired from working and caring for us. She was busy. She was overwhelmed.

I fought her over my secrets. I wanted her to worry over them. I wanted them to matter. I wanted to matter.

She loved me through the worst times.

Blue Era: 14 - 16 years old

This was a quick era. It took longer to adjust to than it actually lasted. It shocked me when it ended.

The leader was unsure. He had a lot of concerns. He was in charge of so many people's happiness. He didn't talk to me as much as he had during the other eras.

I denied him my secrets. I denied access into the pieces the eras had created. I didn't want him to know about the scars I'd gained while he wasn't the leader.

He asked for a blanket when I was cold during my MRI.

Lost Era: 16 - 20 years old

This was a random era. Nothing was set in stone. No goal seemed within reach, even just getting through.

The leader didn't exist. There was nothing to lead. Life just passed by. School, friends, entertainment on and on without a plan. And even when it did gain a plan, the approach was haphazard.

I ran away from my secrets. I forgot they existed. When their whispers grew to shouts, I ignored the pain. I ignored them and so they controlled me.

It was the darkest era.

Purple Era: 20 years old

This era is open. It doesn't have many things written yet. The things it has are mostly bad.

The leader is me. I'm finally at the helm. I don't know how to grow up. I doubt I ever will achieve the level I had hoped for. I have confidence that this era will last for quite some time.

I'm slowly remembering my secrets. I'm facing them head on. They are just facts or thoughts. I am the person whose life depends on continuing the fight.

I couldn't ask for a blanket. I couldn't squeeze comfort into my hands. I did, however, prepare for the shot. I prepared for the potential anxiety attack. I prepared for the loneliness and longing. I cheered on and supported my physically and mentally weak state. I got through my MRI on my own.

P.S. I'm going to attempt blogging all week. I had my last day of work today and decided to write on the topic that's been on my mind since Friday.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Unique-ly in the Way?

I thought I finally knew who I was and how I fit in my world. However, I don't.

I'm pretty sure who I am. I don't change very much. Never have. And while I don't always know the right words to describe it all, I can feel the truth. But I don't fit where I had begun to suspect I did.

I try to help. Then, I find out that people don't see it like that. My help is denied or incorrect. My help actually spurs multiple new routes people have to take around me.


I take personality and mental disorder quizzes in my spare time. My personality is locked and I like who I am. But how do other people process me? What does the test have to say about the way I think?

I have a high chance of bipolar - that makes sense considering my bipolar II diagnosis.

I have a high chance of food addiction/detachment - that makes sense considering I starve myself out of disinterest and disgust.

I have a high chance of depression - that makes sense considering my chronic depression diagnosis.

I have a high chance of PTSD - that makes sense considering my parents messy divorce and my mom's slow decay of 4 years.

I have a high chance of anxiety - that makes sense considering my generalized anxiety disorder.

I have a high chance of insomnia - that makes sense considering without medication I only sleep eventually and I wake up from anxiety nightmares tired every morning.

I have a high chance of social anxiety - that makes sense considering how much people scare me and my GAD.

I have a high chance of cell phone/Internet/TV addiction - that makes sense considering being without a screen or worse a connection have entered my nightmares.

I have a high chance of being suicidal - that makes sense considering how many suicidal ideations I have in a week.

I have a medium chance of autism spectrum disorder - that makes sense considering how much human interaction confuses and frustrates me.

I have a medium chance of every personality disorder there is - that makes sense considering I hate being with people, I dwell on myself all the time, and I do random things I don't even plan.

I have a medium chance of ADHD - that makes sense considering how many tabs my brain as open in any given moment but also considering how unwilling I am to move.

I have a medium chance of chocolate addiction - that makes sense considering I never forget about chocolate but sometimes I forget it interest me.

I have a medium chance of ED - that makes sense considering I have an unhealthy relationship with food, I dislike all thighs but had an affectionate acceptance of my body for 18.5 years until my hatred of food and chewing took the better of me.

I have a medium chance of depersonalization disorder - that makes sense considering how far away my body feels at times.

I have a low chance of BPD - that makes sense considering my bipolar II diagnosis. It's possible to have both but I most likely don't.

I have a low chance of anger - that makes sense considering I accept people's negative emotions as my fault and never theirs.

I have a low chance of psychopath & sociopath - that makes sense considering I believe there are 8 billion people higher than me, including possible unfeeling people.


So why do I open a bunch of these stupid, unpredictable tests at 5 am and take them over the course of 3 weeks? Why do I rehash the results on a long blog entry starting at 23:30 - 1:00 am on a night have I haven't taken my sleep aid and need to up early for an intense day?

Because they remind me of what I already know. They remind me of the person I am and love, even when others make me doubt myself. While the list may make it seem like I have some incredible life ruining flaws, it highlights the ones I couldn't stomach having. What's a little depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, suicide when compared to psychopath, anger, depersonalization?

I don't fit nicely in my world. I never have. I've been in the way since I was less than 1 year old. I'll continue to upset the lives of people I love and my own.

But I know who I am. I know I'll get in the way in new and exciting ways. I know that I'll run away to fictional worlds because they don't question what makes me who I am and label it as wrong.

I don't mind being unsure of how my medical team will help with with all my needs. Being unsure if I want the help, especially when I'm not doing my best to assist their assistance. Being unable to face all the things I need to at once: my deep-seated fear of driving, my knee pains, my back spasms, my lack of excerise, my lack of appetite, my possible neurological problems that cause seizures at the random age of 20, my increasing depression, my increasing anxiety, and weakening control and mental strength. I don't mind any of those things.

I don't mind as long as I continue to be sure of who I am. Even if I dislike being unique, different, special, left out. Because those things don't matter as long as I can accept myself.

My unique-ly in the way self. I am after all a work of art.

P.S. this was a major rant and didn't really have a point at the beginning. I do feel much better though.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Hypomania & HSP

The problem with hypomania is knowing that eventually it will wear off.

I had a very up day Sunday. I giggled, I shrieked, I ate, I laughed, I lived. But come Monday, things were bothersome again. Fast forward to Wednesday, and I'm bemoaning my existence (after therapy of course. My worst moments through the week always seem to come within 40 hours of saying "have a good week" to my therapist.) I woke up Thursday surprised I survived the night and somewhat (as much as possible) optimistic about a day to recover slowly. Until I cried at work. From then out it was over. The misery was cemented.

I'm feeling a little better today. Breathing isn't as difficult. Thinking isn't as painful. Walking is a little less hard.

But still I'm not quite well. I'm recalling past comments and hearing them in the worst way.

"How can you keep track of everything in that notebook? I would get so confused." - "You're not normal. Your behavior isn't normal. You are an enigma always to be alone and never understood." Different. Right, I can't get away from that. I'm told I'm supposed to embrace my uniqueness and not be so utterly destroyed when I'm sent off world again. Because my emotional responses, which are out of my control, are wrong as well.

"You take up a lot of room in the fridge for one person." - "You take up too much room in the house." Smaller. Right, it's my first priority in life. I'll work on that despite the progress of even having food in the fridge.

"You don't feel up to it? You don't care about me." Or "You don't agree with me? You think my perspective is wrong, even though I have more authority in the matter?" - "Your emotions rule you. You can't vlbe self-sacrificing." Or "You can't possibly have a solid opinion based on your perspective. You just want to oppose me!" Selfish. Right, I don't sacrifice enough just staying alive so other people can avoid that added stress. I am unfeeling while doing my best to make everyone happy with what little energy or real interest I have. I should definitely be able to find a way to agree with things I don't believe I can do or I don't believe are right.

It's a constant struggle. I know people mean well. I know I lean toward paranoia personality disorder. But that's the thing. I'm already bent to think that people are out to get me. And then I hear at least 1 negative thing every day from the outside. I hear negative things on repeat from the inside. I wish I could trust the outside to give me time to digest the previous comments.

Why can't the up days last longer?

I'm just in the way. Of people I love. Of myself. And I'm not sure how much I can ignore anymore. I'm not sure if I'll be able to survive every day when my worst fear is be achieved every day. And pointed out.

I just want to quit.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


I'm tired.

That's it. I'm just plain tired.

It's the end of the school year meaning it's a super busy and important time for me.
I have class projects to complete.
I have to finish working with one child and mentally prepare for the other.
I have to figure out what classes I still need for whatever it is I want to do in child care.
I have to sign up for classes after that.
I have to decide how much to work next semester.
I have to rearrange my room.
I have to figure out how to handle my mental and physical condition, especially my avoidant eating habits.
I have to get my license because life is too hectic to traipse 5 towns on foot.
I have to say goodbye to the dark months and prepare for the mega bright ones.

Wow, my mind was overwhelmed but putting it in writing gives it clarity. There's so much to be done.

I'm more than tired. I'll admit it, I'm scared. I'm scared of most of these things individually and I'm scared of what they signify all togethet. I have to take care of myself. Even more than the last decade. For the last decade, I've let myself get away with doing the bare minimum requirements and all that caused was a major build up of wotk. If I want to progress at all, I have to take multiple steps almost simultaneously. In vague, blurry synchronization.

P.S. there were 40 things on my to do list when I woke up and I got it down to 37. Yay me.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Jaded: Chapter 10

We're hosting a tea party this afternoon.

I came home from dinner with Arthur to find out we're hosting a tea party. I had 15 hours notice. Jennifer had picked out dresses for the both of us.

Arthur and Caleb apologized for forgetting about the annual tea. Belle didn’t say anything. I knew that it was Delilah’s fault though. I don't understand this girl. What's with the secrets?

Anyway, it's in 30 minutes. My dress is on the bed. And just like the ball gown, I wish I didn't know the price tag. It could pay for a month of school.

"Lizzie do you need help getting dressed?" Jenn asks coming up.

"Yes." I say, standing up and changing.

Jenn zips me up.

"We're hosting a tea. How cool is that?"

"It's cool.

"Lizzie, are you alright?"

"I'm just a little overwhelmed."

"I'm sorry. You're so natural around people I forget that you don't actually feel comfortable talking to new people. And the boys won't be at tea."

"I'll be okay. I've had time to think about it. I've researched all the people coming and have questions prepared."

Jenn laughs.

"Alright, but if you need a break come find me."

"How are you girls doing?" Delilah asks, knocking.

"We're good." Jenn says smiling.

"Great. The flowers and arrangements are arriving. Belle said you wanted to see them, Jenn."

"Ok. I'll go downstairs. Just let me know, Lizzie." Jenn winks at me.

I look in the mirror and admire the dress. I have always wanted to attend a tea party. Raising awareness for the ocean is the best time for it.

"You look very pretty, Lizzie." Delilah says.

I had forgot she was in the room.

"Thank you." I say turning around. "You look beautiful."

It's silent again as I pack my purse. And by pack, I mean put my phone, wallet, and keys inside. I just take a while because it is awkward.

"Where are---?"

"Arthur said…" Delilah trails off.

"Go ahead." I say.

"Arthur said you had something to ask me."

I wish he hadn't told her. I was starting to change my mind.

"Yes. Would you like to hang out Tuesday or Wednesday? Whichever works best for you."

"You want to hang out with me?" Delilah asks, staring at me.

"Yes." I say confused.

"Oh, ok. Tuesday then. Should I call and make some plans?"

"No." I say, quickly.

She pauses and looks surprised.

"I mean, I'll take care of the plans."

"Ok. Well, I should be getting ready to go downstairs."

"Of course."

"Lizzie, you should relax. You’re a pleasant person to be around. There won't be any reporters or anything."

That takes me by surprise. She hasn't seemed to take that much of an interest in me except to keep things from me.

"Thanks, I will. And you should relax as well. I won't say anything embarrassing." I say, following Delilah out the room.

"I'm not afraid of you saying anything embarrassing."

"But this is my first role in my new position as the ward. I have to make a good impression."

"Your talents speak for you."

What are these talents everyone's been talking about?

"And anyway, I'm not nervous. I've been hosting this tea since I was a newborn."

She seems really nervous to me.

"There were the 12 years we didn't host it here." Belle says, coming down the hall.

"Yes, but we still hosted it." Delilah replies, staring at her. "Lizzie, could you walk Michelle Campbell over?"


I think I make her nervous. I wonder why, I think walking to the back door.

Is Finn at home? We did homework Friday with Allison, Chloe, and other seniors. But I haven't seen him since. I wish he had come with Arthur and I yesterday.

We're talking again but it's not smooth. At least one of us is awkward, if not both at the same time  I'm really worried about what Allison said. What if we ruin our friendship?


I look up. There he is. The door is open and he's wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

"Yes. Hi. I came to walk your mom to the tea."

"Oh, right. That's today. I haven't been home for it in years."

I nod while he stares at me.

"Do you want…?" I start to ask.

"Eliza, you look great. Tea dresses suit you. Well, you look amazing all the time. But this is nice." He says, all at once.

"Oh, thank…"

"I can't go to the tea. It's ladies only. Even though I would like to protect the ocean as well."

What is happening? It's like he's a sentence behind the conversation.

"I wasn't inviting you." That sounds mean. "I mean, it's a girls' only tea. And you're wearing casual clothes. You look good. I haven't seen you in casual clothes in a while, like a week. But I mean, you're not dressed for tea. And like I said it's girls' only. Speaking of which do you want to call your mom down?"

Finn smiles and I wince. I want to disappear.

"Hi, Lizzie." Michelle says.

She looks at both of us and steps out of the house.

"Finish your conversation. I'll wait here."

I look at Finn and he smiles again.

"Well, there's my mom. But she won't be happy if we don't talk about something. So what's your plans for the week?"

"Um, I'm doing homework tonight and Monday. I'm hanging out with Delilah Tuesday. Homework again Wednesday and Thursday. I want to go out Friday night but everyone has plans that I don't want to join. Saturday is the garden party. You're still working that night, right?"

"Yes." And I smile. "Do you need me to chaffuer Tuesday?"

"I was wondering if you could ask Stephan. I want one on one time with Delilah. And you know how Stephan is."

"I do indeed. I'll ask him."

He stares at me again.

"I don't have plans Friday. Do you want to hang out?" He asks, looking down.

Yes, yes! Yes!

"Sure." I say. "We should go. Don’t want to be late, especially when it's so close."

Finn nods and waves.


"Bye." He says and closes the door.

Michelle takes my arm.

"It's good to have you near the house again."

"What?" I ask.

She's speaking Latin again.

"All couples fight."

"We're not..." I say in English.

"Finn gave me that already." She whispers in Latin as we sit down.

"Elizabeth Gent." The woman to my left says. "Nice to meet you."

"Hello, Mrs. Jergens. Do you mind calling me Lizzie? I'm not used to the full name thing."

"Oh, ok. And you can call me Diane."

"Thank you. What's your favorite ocean animal?"

That was question number 9. But it's okay because she proceeds to tell me about jellyfish for 20 minutes.

"And I simply love the way they move. So tell me about yourself." She says, without pausing.

"Oh, um. I'm seventeen. I've lived in Colorado since I was 11."

"Where did you live before?" Mrs. Nichols asks.

"I was born and raised in Plymouth."

That's not exactly true but I don't remember where we moved when I was 4.

"When did your parents die?" Ms. Callahan asks.

My entire table stops moving. Half of them look at me and the other half stare at her.

"My dad died when I was almost 3. My mom died when I was 8."

"So it's been a long time." Mrs. Jergens says sadly.

"Yeah. Fifteen years for my dad and almost 10 for my mom."

"You poor thing." Ms. Callahan replies.

"It's a fact of life. I know people with worse stories. Wait, Jo? Is that you?"

"Josephina Callahan."

"She was a junior when I was a lost freshman. So she knows how bad our stories can be." I tell the table. "You look so different. I hardly recognized you."

She smiles and sips her tea.

"Oh, yes. Millicent talks about you all the time." Mrs. Musgroves says.

She's been quiet this whole time. But what she says shocks me more than the fact that she spoke.

"Milly talks about me?"

"Of course. Her dad was hoping she'd have some competition in school. When she came in 3rd freshman year, we were all shocked. But she told us about you and is it, Lindsay?" I nod. "Lindsay sounds like a genius. Do you know what she wants to do for a living?"

"No. Neither of us have decided." I say, finding my voice.

"Well, I'd love to see the three of you working for my husband. And I know Millicent and Marcella would love it."

Now it's just too impossible to believe.

"Marcella may not like it because she's not inheriting."

"But aren't they twin heiresses?" I ask.

"Yes. Marcella will be taken care of but her talents don't lie with managing people."

That sounds like the mother way of saying she's not good with people.

"No, Marcella will have to find her passion."

Macey is as lost as I am?

"What do you think of them now?" Michelle asks, leaning in.

"These women speak Latin too." I whisper back.

"Please. I went to school with them. They passed and then stopped using it."

"Fine. Do you know them?"

"I don't. Finn told me you weren't happy about him dating Millicent."

I stare at her.

"You two seem close." Mrs. Nichols observes.

"Michelle is probably happy to have a student around. She has someone to converse with in Latin." Mrs. Musgroves says.

"You ladies know me too well." She says, smiling.

"He knew I was upset? He told you?" I ask.

"All couples fight. Moms are a listening ear. No details. We're neutral."

Oh, sure. But you'll tell me that he told you.

I sigh and stand up.

"Excuse me. I'm going for more tea."

I pour my water. And think about how many finger sandwiches to get. I want to be polite but I'm feeling uneasy and want to stuff myself.

"Liz Gent."

"Jo Callahan." I reply.

"It's Josephine now."

"I'm sorry. I'm having a hard time processing that because I'm having a lot of flashbacks. And in those flashbacks, you're Jo."

"You know, at first I was going to forgive you because you're the Peyton ward. But when I heard you rejected Charles Engel, I remember how annoying you were."

"You were going to forgive me?" I ask, amazed. "Forgive me for what? Letting you bully Lindsay, Mikalya and Bianca?"

"I did not bully the four of you."

"No, you bullied them but you tormented me. I'm not sure what made me worse but I'm glad I got the blunt of it. Good for you. You learned how to condescend to the point of forgiving someone for being a victim."

"Don't think that developing the socialite communication makes you one of us. You still snubbed Charles Engel."

I take my tea bag out.

"What connection do you have to Charles that makes him so precious?"

"We're going to get married."

"You are? Then why did he want to dance with me?"

"Because I wasn't there. Because his mother told him to. We're not engaged or anything but my father decided with his father."

"Ok. I hope you have fun spending your money on superficial things. Too bad you can't use your influence for good."

I stir my tea. I don't need sandwiches.

"Just be careful. We won't let you into our society with ease."

"You make the mistake of thinking I want to be in your society."

----- ----- -----

"Thanks, Stephan." I say, getting in the car.

"Of course, Liz." He says closing the door.

"Hi. Lizzie how are you?" Delilah asks.

"I'm good. How was your day?"

"It was fine. It was odd leaving the office while it's still light outside."

"You usually get home so late."

"Yeah, but it's okay. I enjoy being at work for all the different shifts and talking to everyone."

"You sound like a cool boss."

"Thanks. Where are we going?"

"For ice cream. I love ice cream after school and Caleb insisted I take myself once a week."

She nods and stares out the window.

Stephan parks and opens the door.

What am I supposed to talk about?

Spirant Iustum: You'll be fine. Just be nice.

I smile.

"Who is it? If you don't mind me asking."

"It's fine. It's Finn Campbell." I say looking at ice cream flavors. "What are you getting?"

"Chocolate. What about you?"

"Cookie dough and peanut butter. It's like a Reese Cup in a cookie."

"You're getting two flavors?"

"Yeah. My mom always got me two flavors. I never finished it. But now I like mixing it."

"My mom would get us ice cream all the time after school."

"Caleb told me. She would pick you up and take you out, right?"

"Yeah. We'd have a day set aside for each of us."

"Did you all go on Fridays?"

Delilah pauses.

"You don't have to answer." I add.

Oops. I've made it awkward.

"No it's fine. The weekend was always really social. She stayed home."

I nod, feeling bad.

"So you've known Finn for a long time."

"Not as long as you guys have known him."

"That's true. Belle and Caleb kind of adopted him as another sibling. He's a great kid."

I smile and tell her about Arthur and my conversation about the word kid.

"But yeah. He is a good guy." I say, vaguely.

"What do you think of him?"

I try not to physically express my reaction.

"You want to know how I feel about him."


"Why did you and Michelle scheme to have us match for the benefit?" I ask, instead.

Delilah blushes.

"I wanted to see you two together."

"So we were right in saying you were a supporter."

"Who's we?"

"Jenn, the girls here and at home. It's a whole big organization." I say, smirking.

"But how do you feel about him?"

"I like him. I'm not sure what's going on. But I think it's going to come to a head soon."

"I'm sure it will be okay."

"You're sure he likes me. I'm not sure. But if he does that's not our main issue."

"He is still your date Saturday, right?"

"Yes. And we already have our couples item for our team."

"Good. You'll have some time to find out what's wrong then. You don't have to fix it. But I think you guys should just be honest with each other."

I nod. I'm not good at being honest about my feelings and circumstances but I'll try.

"I wanted to ask you. Can we arrange an interview Saturday before the scavenger hunt?"

"With me?" I ask.

Dumb question.

"Yes. We'll have the previewed questions for you tomorrow night. You'll have all morning to prepare. The first interview is the most important. People will get most of their curiosty addressed. And then you'll have more privacy."

Or less, depending on how you look at it.

"Sure, I'll do an interview." I stand up. "Next stop?"

"Yes. What's next?"

I smile.

"The grocery store. We need substance for a movie marathon."

----- ----- -----

I hear a noise at my window. I step onto the balcony and look down.

"Finn?" I ask surprised.

"Come down. I have food." He says, holding up a bag.

"You want me to come down the terrace?"

"No. I want you to go to the family room and come down the stairs."

I look my left and see the stairs leading to the yard.

"That works too."

I go back into my room and grab my purse. Then, down the hall to the family room and out to that balcony.

"Will you catch me if I fall?"

"Do you regularly fall when using stairs?"

I narrow my eyes at him.

"Plus I have food. Would you rather I keep hold of it or catch you?"

"Don't you dare drop the best burger ever." I say, taking the bag he offers me. "So if you brought me food, where are we hanging out?"

"I thought we'd hang out here. I mean, it's quiet with the three Simms', my dad, and Jenn gone."

"Why did I come to the yard if we're hanging at the house?"

"Sorry, I meant hanging out in the yard."

"What about your mom? Isn't she lonely?"

"No." He says, firmly.

I look at him surprised.

"Yesterday she mentioned this girl I wanted to marry and won't stop talking about her."

"A girl you wanted to marry? Do tell." I say as we sit on the swinging bench.

"When we moved out here, I met a little girl. I played with her every day for two weeks and according to my mom fell in love."

"Was she your age?"

"Yeah. She was eight too."

"What was her name?"

"I don't remember. I can't even remember her face. But she was nice and spoke Latin."

"Latin?" I ask, amazed. "There's actually another parent that teaches their child Latin?"

"You mean, other than ours? I know it's crazy."

"Doesn't your mom know who it is?"

"No. She was helping my grandfather with the company. She moved after my dad and I. My dad was getting to know the Simms. So I was with the girl and her nanny."

"It sounds like she would be at the academy."

"I've asked but none of the girls had the memory. She could have gone to any academy like me or a different school all together. I had forgotten until my mom randomly mentioned it. I guess I told my mom I found the girl I wanted to marry but she moved for now. I was a theatrical kid so I wouldn't tell my mom her name."

"That's too bad."

"Not really. But my mom thinks it's the cutest thing. And keeps mentioning it. That's why I didn't want to hang out at my house. Plus, I think she's visiting Belle at some point."

I nod and attempt to swing. Finn laughs when it doesn't move.

"Am I too heavy?"

"Could you please just assist me?"

"Yes." He kicks off.

We swing in silence for a moment.

"How was hanging out with Delilah?"

"It was fun. Awkward but fun."

"She's not as easy going as the others."

"What happened to not talking about your employers?"

"I don't talk badly about them or circurlate gossip. That was an observation."

"Okay. Am I imagining things or is she more uneasy with me?"

"No. She seems to be keeping her distance from you. But hanging out helped, right?"

"Yeah, she talks to me more now."

Mainly she says hi and talks to me about Finn. As if that's all my life involves.

'I'm glad. And how was the tea party?"

"It was good. I learned a lot about jellyfish."

"You asked Mrs. Jergens about her favorite animal."

"Yes. How did you know?"

"My mom went to Alden Academy with a lot of the moms. Diane Jergens is quiet but talks a lot about passions."

"Well, that's good to know if there's ever a pause in the conversation. Do you want to go inside the ballroom?" I ask.

"Is it open?" He asks, stopping the swing.

"Yeah. It's never locked."

He turns the handle and looks at me surprised.

"Nicole said you were the explorer. How did you not know this about your backyard?"

"Technically, it's my front yard. And I've always explored the beaches and attractions."

I nod and set my purse down. I've been in here many a sleepless night. But I still love studying the design.

Music starts playing and Finn takes my hand.

"You have classical music on your phone?" I ask, laughing.

"Of course. My fiancé introduced me to Ravel and I've loved it ever since."

"Is that what we call random kids we've forgot until recently?"

"I like the idea of a girl living her life and not knowing we're bethrothed."

I laugh. And Finn stares at me.

"What else happened at the tea?"

"I met Milly's mom. And saw Josephina Callahan for the first time in years."

"What did you think of Mrs. Musgroves?" He asks, glancing at me.

"She's nice."

"She's my favorite Musgroves."

"You dated Milly even though she wasn't your favorite?" I ask confused.

"She's my second favorite." He shrugs. "But being able to understand social queues is important."

"So you acknowledge that she's a mean person?"

"I acknowledge that she doesn't get how what she says comes off. But at heart she's a nice girl."

"Let's agree to disagree."

"That sounds beneficial. What happened with Josephina?"

"She told me, I may be the Peyton ward but I'm not a socialite."

"Good old Josephina. That's why she had to go the southwest academy."

"What do you mean?"

"I didn't tell you?" I shake my head. "She made every girl and some boys in town cry by the time she went got to 8th grade. Her parents decided it would be better for her to go to school across country."

"Yay for me." I say, sarcastically.

"At least it prepared you for this world. How are you doing being the ward? We didn't really get to talk about it that night." He says, looking down.

I think about the night of the benefit again. And force myself to stop.

"I haven't had to do much yet. I have an interview tomorrow afternoon."

"Before the scavenger hunt?"


"Like always, be yourself and be nice."

"Spirant Iustum?" I ask.

"Just breathe is good. But do remember to answer questions."

I smile.

"Will do. I can't believe I'm going to be in a magazine. It's hard enough seeing myself on TV, being treated differently, and getting used to extra security."

"Sorry about that."

"Finn, we talked about it. It's alright." I say, looking him in the eye. "What did your dad say about tonight?"

"He said not to let you out of my sight. Which I wouldn't do anyway."

Another one of those comments I don't understand.

"He was with the Simms. Caleb said to have more guards. Delilah made a reservation. I cancelled it."

"So that's why Belle gave me her credit card. You know what I like about Arthur?"

"That he doesn't force his opinion and respects other people's lives."


Finn smiles.

"I can't believe we're dancing in an empty ballroom to classical music on your phone."

"What's wrong with it?" He asks, defensively.

"Nothing. It's just. You were throwing rocks at my window earlier, right?"

"Yes." He says, looking to the side.

"It's just so cliché. But I like clichés."